Now that the dust has settled over the last 48 hours, we thought we’d give you a few more details on Bern.

We will be leaving Bogota in October 2009, be taking about a month and a half of home leave (mandatory vacation), going to D.C. where we’ll study German, and then arriving in Bern in June 2010. It’s strange that we still won’t be leaving for 11 months, and we won’t arrive at our next post for 21 months. We’re definitely excited about where we’re going, but we keep reminding ourselves that we won’t be going anywhere for a while. There is a lot of life to occur before we breath the fresh air of Switzerland.

My job at the embassy will be another consular tour. It will be similar to what I’m doing now, except for it will be on a much, much smaller scale. Currently I work at one of the world’s largest non-immigrant visa (NIV) posts (tourist visas, student visas, work visas, etc) with about 18-20 officers. In Bern, I’ll be the only NIV officer. Meaning, I’ll be a chief of 1. I’ll also be back-up to all the other consular operations, including immigrant visas (green card holders) and American Citizen Services (American deaths, births, passports, etc). I’ll also be reporting directly to the Consul General. I’m guessing I’ll also have a small staff of Swiss employees who will be working for me.

Kristen’s looking forward to the chocolate factory and being able to get out and about easier. (Currently, Bogota has increased its restrictions on our mobility because of security reasons.) We’re both looking forward to the fresh air and beautiful scenery (although Bogota and the areas outside of the city we’ve been to have been amazing as well). And I think we’re both looking forward to living in a small town. Bern only has about 120,000 people. We are excited that we will be able to hop on a train and get almost anywhere in Europe. Kristen has requested that we spend our 5th Anniversary in Paris. We will see about that. :) We will have to start saving now for all of the traveling we are hoping to do.

We realized recently that during our “Where in the Word” game, Bern was actually the first clue we posted. Kristen said it was because she just felt like that would be where we ended up. (She says it’s kind of like how people say the first wedding dress a girl tries on is typically the one she gets).

So, to all who guessed on that clue (Aunt Susie, Mom/Dad, Jonathan, Paul, and David/Judy by phone), go ahead and send us your travel dates and we’ll pencil you in! You get first dibs! Everyone else of course is welcome too! :)

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Drum Roll Please…….

We’ve got the Golden Ticket. No we will not be going to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, in fact we will be going to the Bern Chocolate Factory.

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My new friends

Most of you that are family know that I have been helping a prisoner here in Bogota. She is a US citizen and just gave birth this week on Tuesday night. She is returning to prison so for the next week while he remains in the hospital I will be going to visit him.  His mommy is so excited to have him! I originally thought she might not care but now that he is here she is thrilled and she is soaking up information like a sponge to learn to take care of him. When I saw him without her this morning he was sleeping peacefully. When he heard her voice he started stretching and putting his hands in his mouth.  He was so excited to hear her come!

He was about 5 lbs 5oz at 6 weeks early so he is doing well! He will be in the hospital to have some oxygen as well as to be sure that he is feeding well. It is a neat opportunity to use my NICU experience. He is such a cutie! Here are a few photos from my visit today.

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So there’s this song called Anticipation by Carly Simon that I think summarizes how we feel as we wait to find out where we’re going.  (BTW, neither of us are necessarily fans of Carly Simon, but the lyrics are appropriate.)  It’s mostly about this guy she likes, but there are few lines that are quite applicable.

“We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway, yay…
Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin’ me late
Is keepin’ me waitin'”

It’s hard to put into words what it feels like to wait for an email that will determine your “destiny” for the next 2+ years. It’s similar to a job hunt and waiting for the employer to call you back. But in this case, we know we’ll get the job, but which of the 20 will it be, when will we be leaving our current job, how much training will we get, and in which country/continent will we end up.

And all we’ve been told is we will find out by “late August.” There are only a few more days left in August, so hopefully by Friday. But as Kristen wrote in the previous post, one of the persons making the assignments emailed this morning to say it could take up to two more weeks.

Anticipating it all…it’s keepin’ us waitin’.

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